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On December 5, 2019, Representatives Linda Sánchez (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act (H.R. 5326). The legislation prohibits long-term care facilities from requiring or requesting residents (or their representatives) to sign pre-dispute arbitration agreements. Pre-dispute arbitration agreements, which require victims to give up their right to settle disputes in court, have come under increased scrutiny in the months following the Trump Administration’s rollback of the 2016 federal ban of such agreements in nursing homes.

In a press release, Rep. Sánchez stated, “[u]nder this bill, families will no longer have to worry about losing their right to a day in court.” Rep. Schakowsky added that “[w]hether it’s willful neglect or a simple accident, residents and their families should have the right to seek justice in front of a judge and jury, and not be locked into a conference room for forced arbitration.”

As noted in the press release, the Center for Medicare Advocacy and twelve other organizations have already endorsed this legislation.

December 12, 2019 – D. Valanejad

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